How to prepare for your social work interview

Beforehand 

  • Research the social work course and the University by looking at the website and, if possible, attend an Open Day
  • Get as much practical experience as you can. All applicants must have a minimum of 12 weeks’ experience in the social care field. Not only will it give you an insight into the realities of the sector, it will also give you plenty to talk about in the interview.  
  • Re-read your application form and personal statement. We will ask you to elaborate on it and it’s vital to be aware of what you have said.
  • Make sure your references are current and still happy to be contacted.
  • Update yourself on current news and issues. Good websites to read are The Care Council for Wales, Social Care Institute for Excellence and Community Care
  • Review relevant legislation and the policy framework as the interview will test these.

On the day

  • Bring all documentation requested. 
  • Dress in smart, comfortable clothes. Remember this is an interview for a professional course.
  • Be on time. Make sure you know where you need to go and arrive with plenty of time to spare.
  • Bring a pen and notepad.


Individual interview

"Places on the BSc (Hons) Social Work degree are limited, so don’t throw your chance away by being unprepared, says Suzanne Sheldon, award leader. "This is your opportunity to sell yourself and show the panel what you can contribute to the profession. Answer the questions as fully as you can and give illustrations from your own life/career. Project warmth and confidence as you enter and don’t forget to smile and make eye contact with the panel."

7 questions to prepare for:

  • Why do you want to be a social worker?
  • Describe what you think a social worker does and what type of people or groups you might work with
  • What do you think are the qualities of a good social worker? How do your talents and skills match the qualities needed?
  • Describe a stressful or demanding role you've had and explain how you coped with it
  • Tell us about a time you have contributed to effective team working
  • Describe your understanding of The Code of Professional Practice and how it would inform your daily work 
  • What current issues in the media with regard to social work are you aware of?

Written test

You will be given one hour to read a case study and answer related questions, applying The Code of Professional Practice where applicable. 

Group discussion

Within your group, you will be given a topical issue to discuss. You will be observed by a member of the teaching team, a representative from practice and a service user or carer. The panel are looking for people who can communicate clearly, appropriately and expressively, but they are also assessing your listening skills, body language and ability to communicate as part of a group.

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